Wednesday, March 19, Sandestin Resort, Miramar Beach, FL
Well, we may just stay put and relax for two days. The worst traffic of the last two weeks occurred on 55 miles from Pensacola to Miramar Beach, FL. It took 40 minutes just to get over the bridge from Pensacola. So woe is us, having to deal with traffic on a sunny day in Florida. I know you Northerners are deeply sympathetic.
Our travel plans changed a bit. The ferry over Mobile Bay was only running one ferry today and the wait for it seemed excessive so we drove around the bay instead; finishing our time at Fort Morgan as the ferry was arriving.
Fort Morgan was a classic star shape fortress with construction begun after the War of 1812. By the end of the Civil War, advancements in armaments made this style and construction of fort obsolete. Some concrete reinforcements were made near the end of the 1800s but no major action occured after the Civil War.
The fort played a notable role in the battle of Mobile Bay as union forces were able to capture Mobile and the fort. Union Admiral Farragut was nearly trapped by the Confederates but boldly sailed through a Confederate torpedo/mine field to escape the situation. (Another union captain had tried the maneuver and his ship sunk after hitting a mine.) This is the battle where the saying is supposed to have occurred: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
Overhead at the fort: A young man was telling his female companion that if the British had declared earlier for the Confederacy, the War of Northern Aggression (the Civil War) would have gone for the South.
Tidbit: the state holidays for Alabama are as follows: New Year’s Day; Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther Jr. Birthday; George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (not Abraham Lincoln) birthday; Mardi Gras but only around Mobile; Confederate Memorial Day; National Memorial Day; Jefferson Davis Birthday; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day-Fraternal Day-American Indian Heritage Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving; and Christmas.
Our drive to Sandestin was via the scenic ocean route instead of the Interstates. In this case, scenic means primarily coastal resorts and condos, fast food restaurants and strip malls. We did manage to find a small, local fruit/garden stand and bought some strawberry bread to have for breakfast tomorrow.
We took a longer ocean drive to visit the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The seashore stretches from Mississippi to Florida. A small stretch between Pennsacola and Destin was all we could squeeze in.
Sandestin is a gated community consisting of 4 golf courses, multiple resorts/hotels and numerous single family dwellings. It stretches from the Gulf of Mexico ocean area to the Gulf of Mexico bay side. The Intrawest where we are staying is only about 50 units. It is a switch from the Bed and Breakfasts that have been our mainstay for the last weeks.
We have given up the friendly and knowledgeable innkeepers and their unique, home cooked meals for modern showers, spacious room, full kitchen, etc. Some of the B and B’s in the south had pools that had not opened yet; here we have two pools and whirlpools and ocean access via a shuttle or a long walk. We may not have much to report for the next two days.
Ed and Chris 10:20 pm